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PRAXIS' AIDS COMPOUND COULD BE IN CLINICALS BY END OF 1985

Executive Summary

PRAXIS' AIDS COMPOUND COULD BE IN CLINICALS BY END OF 1985, according to a National Cancer Institute (NCI) spokesman. An IND filing is planned after NIH test-tube study results are published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The unnamed compound is the property of Matrix Research Labs of NYC, a subsidiary of Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Praxis Pharmaceuticals. According to an Aug. 13 press release, preliminary research results obtained by NCI researchers Robert Gallo, MD, and Prem Sarin, MD, suggest that the agent displays antiviral activity against the AIDS-associated HTLV-III virus. Matrix has been supplying the compound to NIH. It has not yet been decided whether clinicals would be conducted by NIH or the company. "The compound utilizes a novel biochemical mechanism that should not result in the toxicity associated with other drugs being investigated for use in the treatment of AIDS," stated Matrix President Arnold Lippa, PhD. NCI has noted that the drug, which is used in Europe to treat children with cystic fibrosis, appears to attack the membrane surrounding the HTLV-III virus, preventing reproduction of the infectious agent without harming immune-triggering T-cells. In addition, the compound is fat soluble, a property which might allow it to cross the blood-brain barrier.

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